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Wawrinka, Melzer Reach Kuala Lumpur Quarter-Finals

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Melzer© Getty ImagesJurgen Melzer is chasing his second ATP World Tour title of the season.

Second seed Stanislas Wawrinka began his Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur campaign on Thursday with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over 2011 finalist Marcos Baghdatis. Wawrinka improved to a 4-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head lead over Baghdatis as he won 76 per cent of his service points and converted three of his four break points.

Wawrinka is looking for a good performance on his debut in Kuala Lumpur to boost his points total in the Emirates ATP Race To London. The Swiss, who is coming off his first Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open (l. to Djokovic), is currently eighth in the battle to qualify for one of the coveted eight spots at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

"I think it’s a dream to every player to play there," he said. "That means you’re finishing in the Top 8, and playing the [Barclays ATP World Tour Finals] is something big and something amazing for a tennis player.

"I need to think what’s my game and about the match I’m playing right now because that’s the most important. If I want to be there and to win some matches, then I need to play well. As long as I don’t think too much about that, I’m sure I’m going to have a chance to be there."

The Swiss will next face Russian Dmitry Tursunov, who advanced with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Spanish wild card Pablo Carreno Busta.

Tursunov defeated Wawrinka in their one previous encounter five years ago in Sydney and looked ahead to Friday's meeting. "He's been playing very good tennis, but I think with tennis, the one thing that's good and bad at the same time is if you're winning today, it doesn't guarantee you're going to win tomorrow. For me, the most important thing is to go out and focus on my game."

Fourth seed Jurgen Melzer reached the quarter-finals, defeating qualifier Mischa Zverev 7-5, 6-4. In a match featuring eight breaks of serve, Melzer, converted five of his nine opportunities to prevail in 87 minutes.

The 32-year-old Melzer is chasing his second ATP World Tour title of the season following victory last month at the Winston-Salem Open (d. Monfils). He goes on to face Federico Delbonis for the first time.

"It's always difficult, and I was struggling today," said Melzer. "I didn't play my best tennis, but at the end of the day it's just important that you have a next match to play. 

"I think in general I'm hitting the ball well and I just have to find my rhythm in the tournament. Once I have that I think I can go really far, but first I have to get there. So the next round is my next chance to get that rhythm."

Fifth seed Julien Benneteau defeated Pablo Andujar 7-6(8), 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals. The 31-year-old Frenchman reached the final on his debut in Kuala Lumpur last year (l. to Monaco).

World No. 77 Joao Sousa closed on his second ATP World Tour semi-final in as many weeks as he finished strongly to defeat Pablo Cuevas 4-6, 7-5, 6-0 in just over two hours. The Portuguese player reached his first semi-final last week at the St. Petersburg Open (l. to Garcia-Lopez). He goes on to challenge top seed David Ferrer in the quarter-finals.

"I think Pablo played a great first set, second set he played also good," said Sousa. "So I'm really happy to be in the quarter-finals here, playing against David. Tomorrow I'm going to give my best, I will try everything."

Butorac/Klaasen Upset Top Seeds
Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen upset top seeds Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer in the first round. The American/South African duo saved six of seven break points as they won 6-3, 4-6, 10-3 in 77 minutes. Qureshi and Rojer had been looking for valuable points in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings. They currently stand at fifth position in the battle to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

Fourth seeds Dominic Inglot and Treat Huey reached the quarter-finals with 7-6(4), 6-2 victory over Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa.

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